Nine ways to wake up: Bedside alarm clocks designed by a 'meaningful interaction' learning approach

Sener B., Pedgley O. F.

9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014, Bogota, Cali and Medellin, Colombia, 6 - 10 October 2014, pp.698-705 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Bogota, Cali and Medellin
  • Country: Colombia
  • Page Numbers: pp.698-705
  • Keywords: Aesthetics of interaction, Design for interaction, Generative design method, Meaningful interaction, Semantics
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


During interaction, people perceive and process varied sensorial information emanating from a product, leading to qualitatively varied experiences on aesthetic, meaning and emotional levels. Navigating a way through the complexity of issues involved in 'design for interaction' (DfI) is however not easy. This paper presents the foundations and findings of an educational approach to designing for (or by) 'meaningful interaction', which we define as user-product interaction conceived through everyday adjectives and phrases. Product semantics and interaction semantics are compared and contrasted. A product design project (bedside alarm clock) is used as a vehicle for exploring meaning-based DfI teaching and learning. Students responded well to the educational approach, delivering nine diverse, detailed, and convincing proposals for product interaction. The paper concludes on the 'role' of adjectives in DfI and the need to synchronize product and interaction semantics to avoid experiential incongruities.